WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with Congressman John P. Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced that the City of Annapolis Fire Department will receive $1,853,916 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire 12 full time firefighter positions for two years including training and full benefits. As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee.
“Adding a dozen full-time, well-trained firefighters will go a long way toward keeping Annapolis residents safe, and the Maryland delegation, which is highly mindful of the need to guarantee strong staffing levels for first-response divisions throughout the state, strongly applauds this funding award,” said Senator Cardin. “Together we will continue to work for the funding necessary to safeguard Maryland communities and ensure that our first responders have the tools and skills they need to return home safely each and every time they are dispatched.”
“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools and staffing they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”
“In order to protect Maryland’s communities, we must provide our first responders with the training and resources necessary to do the job,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This grant funding does just that, by creating jobs that keep our communities safe.”
The Annapolis Fire Department will use the grant funds to hire 12 full time firefighters to fully compliment 24/7 staffing for two full years including recruitment and training of the positions. For more information, please contact Annapolis Fire Chief David L. Stokes, Sr. at 410-263-7975
The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy. The SAFER program provides approximately $345 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local volunteer firefighter support groups.
Since 2001, Maryland Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $180 million in grant funding, including $26.5 million awarded to fire and EMS departments in Anne Arundel County.